New York-based independent Grace's Marketplace began offering e-commerce and grocery delivery via Mercato in February.
Mercato, an online grocery e-commerce platform for independent grocers, is adding analytics tools and features to spur sales and help retailers compete against national online grocery companies, supermarket chains and big-box stores.
From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to stay-at-home orders and panic buying at many supermarkets, Mercato said that it has been adding about 30 to 50 stores a day to its managed platform-as-a-service withe-commerce, managed delivery, targeted marketing and data analytics. Since March 1, grocery sales volume on Mercato.com has skyrocketed by about 5,000%, according to the San Diego-based vendor.
Working closely with retailers, Mercato has incorporated state-of-the-art tools and features to help independent grocers grow their online sales, among them:
Customer and Market Data: Users can discover products trending in the market area, and determine where there are grocery delivery gaps in the community and where to focus marketing.
Traffic and Sales Analytics: Tracking and reporting for online sales can be leveraged to improve in-store product selection and merchandising.
Geo-Optimized Marketing with Artificial Intelligence: Custom, targeted marketing across digital channels can find customers and direct them to the retailer’s online store.
Seamless Two-Way POS Integration with all POS Providers: This feature offers inventory, pricing and discounts matching in-storewith product pricing, inventory, transactions and loyalty programs.
Complete Web Shopping Experience in Addition to iOS and Android Apps: With an increasing inventory database of more 1.1 Million items, stores can quickly build out their online inventory listing so customers can shop a store both at home and on the go. Stores can also add custom items to their store pages to be made available to order, permitting customers to digitally shop and order up to 100% of the items sold in-store.
“Many independent grocers are struggling right now with social distancing and the safety precautions they must employ to protect customers and employees amid the COVID-19 crisis,” said Mercato founder and CEO Bobby Brannigan. “E-commerce is enabling these neighborhood stores to fulfill online orders and compete against Amazon, Walmart and major supermarkets as online grocery sales continue to grow. We’ve worked closely with these merchants, listening to their pain points and opinions, and developed robust analytics tools and features that will enable them to grow revenue and serve local customers who depend on them. By supporting these stores, we’re strengthening the local community economies nationwide. It’s really gratifying.”
“Mercato’s platform enables us to closely mirror the in-store experience online,” noted Daniel Soares, of New York-based Grace’s Marketplace, which began offering e-commerce and grocery delivery via Mercato at its two stores in February. “We can also recreate the element of discovery and leverage sales data to see what SKUs are best performing and adjust our product mix. We’re able to measure and predict the success of the e-commerce program with views of local searches, customer demographics and analytics reports. This helps us see what products are trending in our area, where there are delivery gaps and how to focus our marketing alongside the marketing Mercato provides.”